Today I celebrate being on earth for 35 years (give or take the 9 months I hung out in the womb.) At one point, the average life expectancy was 70 years which would make today the halfway point.
If my life were a calendar week, this year is the beginning of the "Wednesday."
Though that sounds like a downer, I'm actually quite comfortable with aging. I welcome the gray hair, the wrinkles, and hopefully the wisdom that accrues to skin well worn. In this state of comfort and welcome, I wanted to offer a few random reflections on life at this point if for no other reason than to have them recorded somewhere for later reflection. Here goes:
- I feel like age has an impact on one's relationship with God. The longer I live and seek Him, the more memories I have of finding (or being found by) Him and drinking in His goodness.
- The world appears different to me, now as a father and in the stage of my life that many refer to as one of the most active times in a human being's life. I see things I didn't before, and I pray that this vision only grows going forward.
- I'm now the target demographic for children's toys and blockbuster superhero movies. It's only appropriate that a grown man becomes giddy when The Hulk throttles Loki.
- I've been blessed with a shrinking bucket list: the last few items are to go to Ireland and jump out of a plane. I'm expecting to knock those out by at least 36.
- I'm not as smart as I once thought I was. I'm far more tempted to selfish ambition than I ever was. I'd rather be fighting arrogance over my intelligence, because at least everyone can identify that as dangerous and refuse to encourage it.
- I'd love to put another marathon on my list, but I'd also like to have my knees healthy enough to dance with my daughter at her wedding. Age clarifies priorities, but it doesn't dull the longing to overestimate one's abilities.
- Lately I've begun to understand more and more of the Psalms - the laments and praises that come from having history with God. It has been good for my soul.
- I realize at this point that I need my friends to have an entirely different role in my life. Friendship now is more about encouragement and partnership. In my earlier years, it was the celebration of shared geography and circumstances. The rhythms of life and work have changed that tremendously.
- If I do not see every year through the lens of gratitude to God, given the fact that there are many who will not see the "Wednesday" period of their life, I will lose the plot for life altogether.
- I've finally become comfortable giving up reading a book that robs life from me instead of giving it back. Hallelujah.
- Fraggle Rock is funnier now, but also somewhat creepy. Not sure why.
- Prayer has become less about talking and more about listening. The silence that once was haunting in my distracted days has been honed and shaped like a river rock until it is able to lie in the current and let the water flow around it. I long for everyone, regardless of age, to find their way to this place.
Now on to a day of work that hopefully will look less like work and more like the art God has blessed me to create.
Here on the "Wednesday" of my life week, I say this with all sincerity both because I hope to make it true and I know it has become more true today than last year:
soli gloria deo. Father, you are all I need.